Saturday, December 20, 2014

Jays fall to Rays

TORONTO—John Gibbons knows his team can’t afford to lose its best player in the middle of a wild-card chase.
So when Jose Bautista was ejected from yesterday’s 2-1 extra-inning loss to the Tampa Bay Rays for arguing a strikeout with home plate umpire Bill Welke, Gibbons didn’t mince words when asked about the situation.

“Bottom line we need him in the game. Say your piece and get the hell out of there,” the Blue Jays’ manager said.
“We’re trying to get in the playoffs—we need you on the field.”
Bautista’s absence brought Nolan Reimold into the contest at right field.
The move proved costly as Reimold misplayed a ball hit by Logan Forsythe in the top of the 10th, allowing Ben Zobrist to move from first to third base.
Zobrist scored the winning run when the next batter, Evan Longoria, hit a single to left field off reliever Sergio Santos—freshly-recalled from ‘AAA’ Buffalo on Saturday.
After the game, Reimold took full responsibility for the error.
“I saw (Zobrist) take off . . . I was thinking about throwing him out before I caught the ball and it was completely my fault,” he said.
“That play’s got to be made.”
Longoria drove in both runs for the Rays (64-66), who played to 10 innings for the second time in as many days at Rogers Centre after losing 5-4 on Saturday afternoon.
Brad Boxberger pitched the bottom of the 10th for the save.
Jake McGee (4-1) threw two scoreless innings of relief for the win while Rays’ starting pitcher Chris Archer racked up six strikeouts through seven innings, along with six hits, one walk, and one run.
Drew Hutchison, meanwhile, threw six strong innings for Toronto (64-64), giving up one run in the first inning before settling down.
He struck out seven, walked two, and gave up six hits in the no-decision.
Aaron Loup, Dustin McGowan, Casey Janssen, and Brett Cecil combined on three scoreless frames, though Janssen gave up back-to-back singles and a sacrifice bunt to start the ninth.
Dioner Navarro had two hits for Toronto (66-64) while Juan Francisco picked up an RBI on a sacrifice fly.
The Jays threatened to tie the game in the bottom of the 10th as Francisco led off the inning with a single, advanced to second on an error to James Loney, and then moved to third on a bunt single from Munenori Kawasaki.
But Jose Reyes fouled out, Melky Cabrera popped out, and Reimold struck out to end the game.
“It’s kind of easy to just give up in that situation and say, ‘They’re going to at least score one run, we’ll play for the tie,’” Longoria said of the runners on first and third with nobody out in the bottom of the 10th.
“Boxberger did a great job making his pitches right there,” he noted.
“It’s good to come out on top of that one.”
Elsewhere in the AL, Detroit pounded Minnesota 13-4, New York beat Chicago 7-4 (10 innings), Cleveland downed Houston 3-1, Seattle topped Boston 8-6, Texas trimmed Kansas City 3-1, and L.A. dumped Oakland 9-4.
Over in the NL, Washington routed San Francisco 14-6, Cincinnati beat Atlanta 5-3, Philadelphia dumped St. Louis 7-1, Milwaukee nipped Pittsburgh 4-3, Colorado downed Miami 7-4, New York pounded L.A. 11-3, and San Diego upended Arizona 7-4.
The Chicago Cubs edged Baltimore 2-1 in interleague play.

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